Posts Tagged ‘fig compote’

Looks pretty good right? It was…until you started eating the duck. I did everything right: seared the well-seasoned whole duck in a pan with cross-hatches and everything to render the fat. I cooked it in the oven until the flesh was crispy-crackly and then I basted it in its own juices. I glazed it with a sweet fig and red onion compote with ginger and lemon zest. The sauce was fantastic, but the duck was so disappointing. It wasn’t fun ripping through stubborn fat as it clung with vigor to burly meat. The worst part is that I think I cooked it perfectly—to a faint pink.

Was this just an overly balky and hot-headed bird? Maybe, I was supposed to hang it upside-down like in the chinese restaurants. That might make the bird less head-strong. It just goes to show you that everybody has kitchen mishaps.  I’m not going to give a recipe for a bad duck, but the sauce was beyond tasty. I ate it with bread and scraped it off the unappreciative fowl.


  • figs (I used Turkish)
  • red onion/shallots
  • Merlot (1/2 bottle)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of sugar
  • honey
  • ginger slices
  • lemon
  • balsamic vinegar

Chop 1/2 a red onion—or a few shallots—and sauté in olive oil  with 15 quartered dried figs. When the onions are translucent, add 1 1/2 cups of Merlot or another red wine. Add the honey, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until it becomes a thick sauce.

Please try this compote.  It would work with chicken and, probably, pork. As for duck, I don’t think it’s going to become the new chicken any time soon.

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